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November 16, 2018

What is Tea Tree Essential Oil?

Tea tree is different from the common tea plant that is used in making green tea and black tea. It is frequently used for treating different skin disorders such as acne and fungal infections like athlete’s foot and scabies for it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in skin care products, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and household products. It has a fresh, woody, camphorous and medicinal smell that is similar to eucalyptus. 

This oil was very significant during World War II because Australian soldiers were supplied with tea tree oil for its effective medical uses, that it became a part of their military kits. 

Read and discover the powerful benefits of tea tree oil which is a natural and powerful antiseptic.  


Origin of Tea Tree Essential Oil

The tea tree is native in the subtropical coastal regions of Queensland and New South Wales, the reason why Australia is the major producer of tea tree oil in the world market. The extraction method used is by steam distillation of the leaves of the tea tree plant.

Indigenous Australians have used this plant as a traditional medicine in treating skin abrasions, wounds, infections and cuts. Nowadays, it is commonly used as an ingredient in various skin and body care products.

Tea Tree has the botanical name of Melaleuca alternifolia. It was also called narrow-leaved paperbark and snow-in-summer because of its snow-like flowers that bloom during the summer season.  

The term tea tree was coined by eighteenth-century sailors after they made a tea that actually smelled like nutmeg from the leaves of the tree growing on the Australian coast.


Major Composition of Tea Tree Oil

        ● Terpinene-4-ol         ● Gamma-Terpinene             
        ● Terpinolene              ● alpha-Terpinene
        ● Eucalyptol                 ● alpha-Terpineol
        ● p-Cymene                 ● alpha-Pinene 


Uses and Benefits of Tea Tree Oil 

1. Skin Health. Helps fight acne and treat other skin conditions due to its antibacterial properties. Studies show that it can treat blemishes, insect bites, skin irritation, oily skin and skin tags for it is a natural antiseptic. You can also use this for topical application in removing makeup and reducing the risk of having skin cancer.

2. Healthy Hair and Scalp. It can remove dandruff, help improve dry scalp and calms itchy scalp. Can also treat head lice and promote hair growth. Just add 20 drops of tea tree oil to at least 2 tablespoons of shampoo. Use this blend to massage your scalp and hair, then leave for about 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing.

3. Respiratory Health. Can promote easy breathing and relieve congestion for it can restrain the growth of bad bacteria that cause respiratory disorders and sinus infections. You can put drops of tea tree oil in a bowl with hot water, then inhale the steam deeply to clear your sinus and lungs. 

4. Dental and Oral Health. Tea tree oil is a natural remedy for halitosis or bad breath, it can also reduce the risk of having gum diseases such as gingivitis. You can use it as a mouth rinse to support healthy teeth and gums, just make sure to spit it after use for tea tree oil is toxic.  

5. Boosts Immunity. Eliminates airborne bacteria that can cause severe infections and diseases when inhaled or ingested since it contains antiviral and immunity-boosting properties. It can also treat cold sores and alleviate symptoms of cold and flu. 

6. Natural Insect Repellent. Applying diluted tea tree oil in your skin can help prevent and treat insect bites such as mosquitoes bites which can bring redness and itchiness on the skin. It can repel insects because it is highly toxic and has a strong, distinct smell. 

7. Hand and Foot Care. It can also effectively get rid of nail fungus and treat athlete’s foot since it has anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. You can apply tea tree oil into a cotton ball or swab then gently put it on the affected area of your skin. 

8. Stress and Anxiety Buster. Helps reduce your stress and anxiety levels. It also promotes relaxation and sleep which is ideal for people who are suffering from sleeping disorders. It is ideal to mix it with other essential oils such as lavender and frankincense oil. 

9. Aids Muscle and Joint Pain. This oil is anti-inflammatory and has a warming effect when applied topically, giving a calming sensation for your muscles and joints. It can also promote proper blood circulation and has analgesic properties which can relieve arthritis pain.

10. Natural Household Cleaner. Has the power to remove moulds and germs on surfaces. You can use it in your laundry, in purifying the air inside your home and has been proven to be a great natural bathroom cleaner. In fact, tea tree oil is a common ingredient in various household cleaning products.


Directions for Use

Keep in mind that natural substances are not always safe and require proper usage, that’s why it is very significant to always follow directions on product labels and consult your healthcare provider before using any kinds of products that can have adverse effects.

For essential oils, proper consultation and assistance are needed from a qualified aromatherapist and health professional. Aside from the different benefits that you can get from tea tree essential oil, it can also be used in many ways. Some of these are:

  • Diffuser. Add the desired number of drops of tea tree essential oil or mix with other essential oils in your diffuser. This will induce feelings of relaxation and will help clear your breathing.
  • Massage. Tea tree oil is strong and concentrated that why you should dilute it with other essential and carrier oils, then gently massage over your body to give relief on muscle and joint pain. 
  • Spritz. Add at least 5 drops of oil to a 100ml spray bottle filled with water. Then, shake well before spraying, to clean areas around your house, purify the air and help promote fresh feeling.
  • Inhalation. You can inhale the oil inside the bottle or mix 5 drops of oil and hot water into a bowl, then inhale deeply to treat coughs and colds while clearing air passages. 
  • Bath. Add the desired amount of oil to bath water, then mix for an aromatic bath that will ease your stress levels, calm your nerves and alleviate your mental and physical fatigue. 



    Try these tea tree oil recipes:

    For Freshening Room

    -2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
    -2 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil
    -2 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
    -2 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil

    For Easing Congestion

    -2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
    -2 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
    -2 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
    -3 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil 

    For Fighting Acne 

    -3 to 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil 
    -2 teaspoons of aloe vera gel 

    Mix the ingredients well for a natural homemade face mask, then apply on the acne-affected skin. Keep it on for about 10 to 15 minutes, then wash your face with lukewarm water. 


    Precautions and Side Effects

    Children and Pregnant Women. This kind of products need to be kept out of reach of children for it may cause serious side effects when not properly administered. If you are pregnant or nursing, you should consult your healthcare provider for medical advice before use.

    Hypersensitive Skin. People with hypersensitive skin should be cautious when using this kind of product for it may irritate and damage their skin. They should dilute the tea tree oil with another carrier oil such as jojoba and sweet almond oil. It is better to do a skin patch test first to make sure that your skin is safe from any serious reactions when the oil is applied directly to the skin.  

    Highly Toxic. Do not take orally. This kind of oil should not be taken by mouth for it is highly concentrated and toxic. It can cause serious side effects when accidentally swallowed, it can cause vomiting, loss of muscle coordination, confusion, rash and coma.

    Disclaimer: The health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. VitaminsOnly strongly recommends to consult health care professionals for any questions concerning your health.


    National Center for Biotechnology Information
    Reader’s Digest
    Mayo Clinic
    Dr. Axe

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